Custom-made Caballista Corvette Perfectly Defines 1970s Excess

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Caballista custom C3

Caballista Corvette proves rarity and desirability don’t always go hand in hand.

If someone were to go back in time and poorly describe the concept behind the Cadillac XLR, this custom-made Corvette would be the likely result. Called the Caballista, this low production car utilized Cadillac styling cues on the front, back, top and sides, perhaps to add some Class to America’s sports car. I think it’s fair to say the idea hasn’t aged well.

Obviously, the car is meant to take advantage of the chrome craze of the 70’s, with big, chunky front and rear bumpers. A Continental package is even included with the spare tire mounted out back, too. As well, the roof has been squared off, with an interesting blend of swooping windscreen which quickly meets a sharply angled rear roof-line. Those poorly blended elements make it very obvious that it’s a Corvette, too. As far as we can tell, its only missing a chrome luggage rack on the trunk.

Caballista custom C3

Nothing mechanical has been touched, so you still get reliable and predictable L82 Corvette power mated with an automatic transmission. Fast it is not, but again, speed is not what this car is all about; maximizing the amount of time spent being seen. We predict the ideal top speed of this ride is about 12 miles per hour. Perfect for Woodward.

Caballista custom C3

It’s not the first time we’ve seen bizarre C3 creations. Back in the day, some companies made an attempt at a four-door C3 Corvette. Only six of those stretch ‘Vettes were reportedly made, but somewhere between 70 and 80 Caballista conversions like this one were made. And of course, now the new craze is no body at all.

One confusing thing is that it always seems like the “odd” Corvette conversions are the ones produced in the highest numbers. Better looking re-bodied Corvettes are often left as a one-off example, much like the Italian-designed Rondine Corvette (which we know is a C2, but it just shows what can be done). Speaking of C2 customs, we still believe George Barris’ custom C2 wins them all.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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